The following is the tenth segment in a 13-part series based on the book, Divorce: It’s All About Control — How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif. This continuing series deals with one of the most destructive wars–the Internal Wars—and the Enemies Within, all of which can be just as devastating as the emotional, psychological and legal wars. The Internal Wars deal with “way too much” and “far too little,” — both of which can be vicious enemies. As I mentioned in the prior four segments which covered alcohol/drugs, over-spending, gambling and overeating, each one of the Internal Wars deals with self-abuse in one way or another. This segment highlights overworking.
A kissing cousin to Blabbing is Obsessing. Some people just cannot help themselves from constantly thinking and over-thinking specific feelings or events in the Three Typical Wars, and often they begin to blab about them. Sometimes they talk incessantly to others about these issues of concern, yet more often than not, they continue a running dialogue or narrative in their heads about “things.” Obsessing can lead to many deviant behaviors from stalking to angry-letter-writing to rash behaviors that may earn some a Restraining Order! This venomous Enemy can undo a person—take him or her Prisoner and hold them in captivity for eons. Obsessing over your ex’s new lover, or how unfair it is they he got “this” and you got “that,” ruminating over ways to win the children’s affection, paying back your ex with revenge, plotting ways to ruin his/her life, are all potential fallouts of being in the clutches of the Obsessive Enemy Within. Obsessing also causes a host of problems like not being able to sleep well, the inability to concentrate on work, becoming distracted in the face of opportunity, like meeting a potential new significant other, for instance. If you are not functioning properly and productively, chances are you have been taken Prisoner by an Enemy called Obsession. Here are just a few reasons why you may want to take to the hills:
- People will begin to think I am not “all there.”
- I will miss out on many things—from quality sleep to new business and personal opportunities.
- I will have given my ex power he/she does not deserve.
- Obsessing can bring out the worst in terms of my behavior.
- My children will lose respect for me.
- My friends will not want to spend time with me as I hash out the same issues over and over again.
- The impulse to find comfort from my need to Obsess could lead to over-drinking, over-eating, illicit drugs or a host of other negative choices as a means to relieve tension.
- People may start making fun of me.
- I will definitely lose any semblance of balance.
- I may as well scream from the mountain tops: “I am Out of Control, Big Time!”
As in the previous segments in this series, make your own list of reasons why obsessing is not a sensible thing to do. Might Obsessing distract, interfere, or otherwise dismantle more positive and productive thoughts—ones that focus on steering you toward objectivity and sound reasoning?
Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Blank Rome LLP, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.